Thursday, May 30, 2013

YNP Opener (for ME) - Firehole The Insect Factory

Although I fish every single month of the year, opening/closing of Yellowstone National Park waters is always something special. It pretty much coincides to our fishing/guiding prime season. I usually don't hit the exact "Opener" (Saturday May 25th this year). I'd rather hit sometime in June, starting from very minor waters. This year, for some reasons, I hit Firehole, which is generally fishable right after the season opens (though I still avoided weekend).

Just as I was expecting and informed, Pale Morning Dun hatch was in full-swing and trout were eagerly rising!!
I missed a couple then this little yet feisty Rainbow was my own Opener!!
 Hmmmmm..........just checking.........
To be honest, pretty much any PMD dry-flies in right size with well-presentation worked.

However, for a little period of time, I experienced typical Firehole Conundrum!!  = Rising trout & something hatching, but can't take trout!! Big light-colored caddisn, White Miller (Nectopsyche), came into play. Cross-over period between PMD and White Miller was really hard to figure out.
I observed lots of pupal shucks floating on the surface.

As PMD ceasing, situation became a bit friendly for me!! Now trout were keying on White Miller Caddis!! I tried several different patterns, but this X Caddis with bleached deer-hair was the most  effective!! Other deer-hair pattern tied with regular (natural) color didn't do well.

Another feisty 'Bow!
 Just checking......
 Then I got a really nice Browny!!
 Indeed he was feeding a lot on PMD but he wasn't full yet.......

White Miller hatch seemed ending. Yet trout were still rising though somewhat less than before. With cloudy sky with mix of rain, Blue Winged Olive were hatching, just as I expected!!
Over all I enjoyed lots of dry-fly actions with these 3 major insect hatches!!

I swung by Madison, which was amazingly very fishable at this time of year!. A typical Madison Brown caught by a "Typical" Madison method (guess what!?).

I have just stocked up some X Caddis with bleached deer. Also I noticed a recently acquired material = Snowshoe Rabbit Feet dyed in Cream. I substituted with deer hair. See how it works when I hit Firehole next time.

It was a great day for me. Yellowstone Park waters are in great conditions so consequently Southwest Montana water will be in great conditions through the season!! It's not late yet to plan great fishing trips over here! See you in YNP!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

MZ Guide Orientation

Again, in between Master Breeder projects, I could get out fishing. I joined a Guide Orientation with Dave Kumlien, Outfitter with Montana Troutfitter, held at MZ- (MZ Bar) Ranch in Belgrade. Two spring-fed creeks run through MZ- Ranch, owned & operated by Milesnick Family, and they also provide private accesses to East Gallatin River. Idea & surroundings are close to those three fabled creeks in Livingston. But trout and fishing character are somewhat different. Probably two major differences are: 1. daily rod numbers are limited to only 6 and 2. one can access all three waters during the day. So this will be another fishing and guiding option for me.

It's quite an operation!!
 I didn't forget to appeal my Master Breeder business too!!

So fishing. There were some insect activities but not much apparent surface feeding of trout. My first choice was to fish with "spring creek streamers". Wanted big ones? Maybe......but it was rather to observe & test trout response and density. I had one big bite!!, which snapped off tippet.......likely story....... As I fished down-stream of Benhart, I fished back & up with my perfected spring creek nymphing methods. My first respectable fish was very very feisty Rainbow!!

This is not conceit to say that I knew my spring creek patterns, that I have developed based on my countless days at Livingston creeks, will work. During the orientation we did kick-seining and saw Cranfly larva. I was positive trout in this place had never seen my patterns!!

 Of course, pump 'em!! Hmmmmm, just usual suspects.

So I was also positive my Bead, Pheasant, & Copper had to work!!

 I caught more & more trout!! (all rainbows, by the way).

At a certain spot, I started to observe more midge larvae.

This was also quite a hefty one!!

By then my BPC was totally ruined!!

So I might as well tried my own Chewy Midge Larva before I head home.

 BINGO!! The Best one of the day took another original pattern of mine without any doubt!!

Probably for most of visiting anglers to Southwest Montana, Bozeman & Livingston sound and look like one single area (well, there are lots of differences actually). So for your future trips, consider MZ- Ranch as one of your options!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

More Custom Flies & New Direction

Following is the news I couldn't catch up to post this spring (is this still spring here in Paradise Valley?). In early March, I brought my custom flies to Parks' Fly Shop (
No explanations needed, custom flies & superior guide service have been PFS services since 1953!! That is, celebrating 60th Year!! I'm very proud and fortunate that I can be involved in as a guide and a fly-tyer.

Following patterns have appeared in this blog (and sales site) numerous times along with proof pictures of me catching trout!! Also tying procedures & material used are shown and discussed in my YouTube channel.

Bead, Pheasant, & Copper: This is one of my latest staple nymph in my box(es). Tied large (#12) to small (#18), it catches any size-range of trout! Also works both at rivers and spring creeks!!

Sparkle Crane Larva: Cranefly larva is definitely one of overlooked trout food sources among trout anglers. This pattern is suggestive yet realistic. Not to mention unique in market!!

There are bunch of them.........

And the last but not the least, my beloved (& one of my most innovative) Double Soft Hackled Caddis: I tied a special coloration that mimic multi caddis species for PFS.

Try these anywhere caddis are abundant in various fishing methods.

These are already in "Custom Fly Bins" at the shop. So when you pass Gardiner and Parks' Fly Shop, make sure to drop by and grab couple each along with other goodies!! Whether you fish Yellowstone Park waters, Yellowstone River, or other nearby waters, (often times even beyond!!), PFS flies WILL work for you!!
Then here's a little announcement. I have just stepped into a new chapter and a new challenge of fly-tying. I'm getting into this kind more & deeper from now on...........
After a couple of trials-&-errors, I finally finished this one.
At this point, it's not "Picture perfect" yet. It's rather "Picture Tolerable" Level.  How many screw-ups can you pick on!?

That said, I'm in the middle of Master Breeder projects and guiding season is just around the corner!! That means I will be tying more trout flies anyway!? or have I stocked enough during winter and spring?
There is no limit in fly-tying world. I will be enjoying the new ride even if it could be a bit bumpy every now and then!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

PFS Lake Check Run!!

I'm in between Master Breeder schedules. Usually this time of year, I don't have many opportunities to go out fishing (due to spring run-off, Yellowstone Park is not open for fishing yet, and other reasons). But that does not mean Fishing Guides aren't fishing but are re-hibernating. I was able to join Private Lake Check Run with guides at Parks' Fly Shop (

Now is the time to fish local lakes/ponds which are located within private cattle ranches or guest ranches, just like spring creeks in Livingston (BTW spring creeks are in great conditions too).

On Monday, we checked two lakes. Winds were on a rough side all day. We had fun. Here's Wally's DOUBLE!...........perch-y-ish!?

A group of Avocet against winds. It was a rare scene for us.
Today we hit another well-known private lake. It's within a real working cattle ranch. I couldn't help chuckling with this landscape.......... An outhouse supported (probably braced!?) with wires and posts. Has anyone tried to steal this building or has it been knocked off & blown away by famous winds around here?

Owner & Outfitter of PFS, Richard bringing in The Starter!

It was a nice Cutty (no pics). I quickly "pumped". Hmmmmmm........, likely stuffs but also NOTE a BEETLE in it!!

Just as we had expected Chronomid hatches were abundant. Richard took a nice rainbow! Note that I'm writing just "nice" for this beauty because.........

Then very large & beautiful mayfly, Calibaetis started to hatch!! We were surrounded by rings of rises!!

I caught a nice little Brookie on a dry-fly!! Happy!!
Right after that Richard got a much nicer Brookie!
And then Morning's Glorious Rainbow!! - I wrote "Morning's" because.......
It was "She" as you can see.......... are these for Sushi Lunch!?

Wally and Rob also kept hauling trout.

It was a bit slow in the afternoon. We were afraid trout were regurgitating from morning feeding and taking some naps. However we have located several rising/cruising trout. Mr. Parks again got things done just right!!!!

It was quite a fight!! Massive submarine pulled out Richard's reel into almost backing-line so I helped him by moving my boat. And finally I could sweep my net under, extending my arms!!
We suspect "He" was Boyfriend for "Her" above!!
We saw some crayfish hatching!!??

We all had fun. I was trained how to net big trout by the outfitter with 50-Plus-Year Experience......!?
As I've been informing there are lots of places/options to fish all through year around here. Come and find out yourself!!